Thursday, July 18, 2019

Blazing Holiness

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16  MSG

Ignorance is bliss. There is a huge responsibility that comes once we know better.  Peter is writing to Christians who are facing persecution to comfort them and to remind them who they are in Christ – His children, gaining the benefit of salvation and eternal life through Him.  He urges them not to forget and to revert back to the way they lived before their salvation.  He urges them to live as the obedient children of God they are – a life energetic and blazing with holiness.  And he reminds them what God says I am holy; you be holy.  
I love this version from The Message.  He urges them to get their mind in gear which is so important for Christians to remember.  We can’t do this life without always being mentally charged.  We run on our emotions and our emotions cannot be trusted.  Life is hard and especially for these Christians that Peter was talking to.  They were in the middle of persecution and in hard times, we automatically want to retreat. Sometimes that means retreating to wrong things because they are easier and perhaps they temporarily satisfy our emotions.  If we prepare mentally, focused on the prize which is eternal life, then we will be ready to receive that gift and persevere through the tough times with the help of Christ.  Every action comes from a thought.  If our minds are in the right place, we won’t make ungodly decisions and choices.  In hard times, we won’t turn to the old ways, we will stand strong and naturally follow His commands and will. 
We have a responsibility once we become Christians to act accordingly. Like Peter says, before we didn’t know better, but now we do.  Now our choices, behaviors, and actions all matter.  Sin is a big deal, but we like to treat it like it’s not.  We should never be satisfied with sin in our lives. God paid the highest price for our lives, which should encourage us as to how much He loves us.  As His children who accepted His gift, we should strive to be like Him - holy.  
We may think we can’t be holy because only God is holy, but He says for us to be holy!  He exemplifies holiness at a level we will never reach, but we are holy because He makes us holy.  He is perfect, pure, righteous, just, and loving, and He inspires us to the same.  So, let’s gear up and go!  Let’s always be ready or getting ready for the gifts that coming – the return of Jesus.  Let’s live lives of blazing holiness!  Let His holiness set our lives on fire and share it with everyone around us, while loving them too.  We need to focus on the coming of Christ with expectancy, bracing ourselves mentally as we think, act, and plan according to His will, and striving to be holy as He is holy.  We are set apart, chosen, and loved.  Don’t forget it, but hold fast in the hope of salvation and His gift of eternal life. 

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:6-7

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